June 7, 2018

Dear Toastmaster,

We have 23 days left in the Toastmasters year. What will we accomplish in the days that remain? Why should we strive to accomplish anything? The reason is captured in our club mission statement. How often do we reflect on it? [Each Toastmasters club exists to] provide a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth.

Toastmasters happens in our clubs. It’s where we, the members, gather together to form communities, learning labs, safe places where we can try out new things without fearing the consequences of failing, and with friendly encouragement to succeed. When we participate in these clubs, we grow--we become better communicators and leaders, as our club mission says. And when we become better leaders and communicators, we are empowered and we become more confident. And then, whether we realize it or not, we go. We go and make a difference in the world outside our clubs, using the communication and leadership skills, and the self-confidence we’ve developed. It’s when we gather, grow, and then go make a difference in the world that we begin to truly Experience the Value of our Toastmasters membership.

Thank you all for the dedication you have shown to Toastmasters this year. By showing up each week and participating in our clubs, we make our clubs places where others can grow and develop. And in the process of helping and serving others, we find that we all Experience the Value of Toastmasters.

In the days that remain of this Toastmasters year, I invite you to participate with me in a challenge. We have 20-odd days left in the year. Many of us are working to finish educational awards. Club officers, let’s make sure we’re supporting and encouraging our members who are close to finishing a manual or Pathways Level. Make sure they get enough speaker roles, and support and encourage all your members to ensure they’re successful. Some of our clubs have challenged themselves to achieve specific DCP goals or add members in order to qualify to be Distinguished. For those of us who are members of these clubs, support our officers and work with them to meet our goals. For all of us, consider giving an extra speech, invite a friend to visit and ask them to become a member, take advantage of our District Spring Forward recognition to grow our club and be successful. Offer to help start a club in your friend’s workplace or apartment complex so they too can Experience the Value of being a Toastmaster. It’s not to late in the year to start a new club. Take advantage of our A Club for a Club or Bona fide Best recognition programs.

And what about the future? Set the stage for success next year. Don’t forget that we need to turn in our new Club Officer Lists to Toastmasters International by June 30th. Incoming officers, plan to attend a Club Officer Training early so you can start the new term well prepared to lead your members to Experience the Value of their membership. See our website for details and keep watching as more trainings will be added. Consider what’s next for you: perhaps a Club Officer role, a role outside your club such as a New Club Mentor or Club Coach, or perhaps a District Leader role. Check out the opportunities on our website .

But above all, let each of us continue to do what we’re already doing. Gather together each week in our Toastmasters clubs, participate and get involved and grow, and then go make a difference. When people compliment us for our communication and leadership, make sure they know it was Toastmasters that helped make us who we are. We are all the life of our clubs and our District, and this is why District 101 is a great place to be a Toastmaster. And it’s why I can say that I’m incredibly proud and humbled to have been the District 101 Director this year.

David Spence, DTM
District Director, 2017-18